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Collier county groups hold vigil for childhood drowning victims

Posted at 9:52 PM, Jan 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-10 22:43:43-05

NORTH NAPLES, FLA. — A Port Charlotte father is using grief as fuel for his mission to prevent childhood drowning deaths.

Paul DeMello lost his one-year-old twins, Joshua and Christian, in a pool accident in 2010.

"I remember when my kids died I cried for 13 months straight," said DeMello.

In the years since then, he's started an organization called Just Against Children Drowning, to help educate parents about these incidents and how to prevent them.

On Friday, he did just that, by teaming up with other local agencies in Collier county for an education vigil at Vanderbilt beach in North Naples.

The group honored children who died over the past year and provided resources for parents who wanted to learn how to protect their kids from the same fate.

"If you're having a pool party of family gathering designate an adult to be the water watcher. And also, if your child is missing, the first place you need to look is in a body of water," said Paula DiGrigoli, the Executive Director of the NCH Safe & Healthy Children's Coalition of Collier County.

For more information on how to protect your kids, click here.